by Dhoha Bediwi

Editor’s Note: Dhoha Bediwi is a foreign exchange student from Saudi Arabia. While attending Mt. Blue High School, she is staying with James and Amanda Beane of Farmington. The following is her first column outlining some of her experiences while in Maine.

FARMINGTON — I’m inspired to write this, I really am. I’m writing because I feel like it, I’m writing because I’ve been through an experience today that deserves to be talked about.

Why don’t we start by how my day went? It was a pretty normal school day in America. Chemistry first period, a learning lab second period, English third period and French last period.

Everything was just like my everyday routine UNTIL I got a text from my host mom saying, “Don’t make any plans after school, we’re meeting the new governor at 4 today.”

At that moment, the moment I read that text, I was internally freaking out!!! I mean how could you not? Elections were yesterday, results came in today and I’m already going to meet the new governor? It hasn’t even been 24 hours after the results! IT IS A BIG DEAL YOU GUYS!!!


I got that text around 1 p.m. at school and all I was thinking about that whole class is what am I going to do with my hair? What am I going to wear? Am I going to act in a certain way? Do I have to dress a certain way? I basically had too much going on in my head, I barely focused in class (my teacher thought I was doing great though).

So I took the bus home after school, got home around 3, showered and got ready! I kept bugging my family back home about what should I wear, which I really appreciate Hend my sister for helping me out.

Anyways, my host grandparents (Jon and Lois Bubier) are the ones who picked me up to go to the governor’s party. They’re close friends with her which I find cool.

When we arrived at the Homestead, music was being played by the band (a bunch of high schoolers, I knew some of them). The place was so crowded with people everywhere.

In every corner there was someone, the place was so full of people that it felt so warm although it was freezing outside. There was some cheese and wine, obviously like any fancy American party, some bread and other snacks. My host grandpa introduced me to a lot of people who were very important in the community and people who are pursuing politics currently which made me so excited because that’s what I’m pursuing in the future.

A lot of them liked me and invited me to their houses to have dinner sometime. People invited me to clubs in town and others invited me to special tours of the state house, the museum and other places which showed me how welcoming the people of this town are and how much of an influence I have.


After a while of people talking and drinking, all the camera men started running towards the door. Everyone was clapping and cheering loudly as Janet Mills walked into the restaurant. It was absolutely beautiful how everyone’s face lit up and everyone was gathered around her.

The band was playing some music that she danced to, and it was the cutest little dance on earth. Then she went around the place greeting her family and friends. When she came towards my host grandparents I was so nervous because I knew it was time for me to meet her and talk.

They told her all about me and how I’m an exchange student. I greeted her (shook her hand) she talked to me for a bit. I can tell she is very down to earth and lovely.

Afterwards I took a picture too. All of that made me so happy! It was such a special moment in my life and I’ll remember that day for the rest of my life.

It made me feel inspired to write and inspired to always try new things. If I didn’t make the choice of doing an exchange then I wouldn’t have met a governor of a state when I’m only 16. I wouldn’t have got invited to speak and give a speech at the Lions Club, which I did a few weeks ago, because the people in that party loved me and thought my voice matters.

I’m so thankful for that experience. I fully believe this is going to help me connect even more to my wonderful community and Farmington. It’s going to help my future.

Thank you for reading.

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